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Half of Russian packaged processors have unconventional variability feature

by on02 April 2024

Yeah, they are defective.

A recent revelation revealed that nearly half of the processors packaged in Russia suffer from an “unconventional variability” feature that casts a shadow over the nation's technological prowess.

Baikal Electronics, a leading developer of Russian processors, has taken decisive action to tackle this issue by expanding its network of packaging partners within the country.

According to the esteemed Russian business daily, Vedomosti Baikal Electronics has enlisted the support of Milandr and Mikron, both located in Zelenograd, alongside its existing partner GS Group based in Kaliningrad. However, the underlying challenge remains unclear: the origin of the chips initially produced for Baikal.

Unfortunately, Russia lacks contract chipmakers with the capability to process wafers on advanced 28nm-class fabrication technologies, which has led Baikal to rely on a Chinese foundry for chip manufacturing. Despite efforts to localise chip packaging at GS Group since 2021, the transition has been marred by numerous challenges.

The intricate and costly nature of the process, coupled with issues such as equipment calibration and a shortage of skilled personnel, has resulted in a staggering defect rate of over 50 per cent across chip batches. Even with the involvement of additional partners Milandr and Mikron, the situation shows little sign of improvement.

A source familiar with the matter told Vedomosti: "Above all, the defective chip batches stem from inadequately calibrated equipment and a lack of expertise among personnel."

"While Russia may manage to package a limited number of processors, maintaining consistent quality across mass production remains a formidable challenge."

The prevailing sentiment among industry insiders underscores the urgent need for systemic improvements in Russia's semiconductor packaging capabilities as the nation strives to assert its technological prowess on the global stage.

Last modified on 02 April 2024
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